Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dude of the Week (#5)

This week's not-quite weekly award goes to Jet Pack Dude. JPD, aka, Glenn Martin of New Zealand, unveiled a "practical" jet pack he plans to start selling next year for 100,000 dollars a piece. Sweet!

Why is this DOW material? Check out this excerpt from a NY Times article about JPD.

“There is nothing that even comes close to the dream that the jetpack allows you to achieve,” said Robert J. Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. He called it “about the coolest desire left to mankind.”

Um. Really? Nothing "even comes close"? How about Jessica Alba and 13 gallons of fudge sauce? Or, like, an army of sexy cyborgs? Okay, so Mr. Thompson needs to rein in the hyperbole, but the gist of his quote is true. For dudes. Ask a dude of GenX or older kinda age if he would like to have a jetpack and you will get a yes that's a little too first-time-seeing-a-live-boob caliber excited. It's like some weird Holy Grail of dude childhood. A Jetpack! F*ck Yeah! I could totally impress Cheryl Tiegs with one of those!

So, JPD, for never giving up on that jetpack dream, you are such a dude!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dudefile# 29 - Confusing Date Needs Translation

Hi DW,

So friends have been trying to set me up with this dude for ages. I met him a long time ago, but years passed by and we recently reconnected at a party. Then this weekend while up at the lake house, friends of dude decided to call dude and invite him up. Dude accepted the invite and was there within 24 hours. Dude and I flirted and talked and got to know each other over two days which culminated in lots of romantic kissing and some heavy petting. Dude tells me that he came up to the house because of me and because he wanted to see if there was in fact something between us. I was on cloud nine.

Dude proceeded to call the night that we all got back into town and set up a date.Fast forward a few days to the date, and dude makes the plans, dresses nice and pays for everything. But he doesn't pick up on any of the hotness that we shared just 3 days prior. There was no hand holding, there was no flirtatious touching. I could definitely still feel the chemistry and there was lots of great and personal conversation, but nothing physical...nothing that picked up on the fact that we had spent Saturday night making out until 4am. I threw outsome reassuring arm touching but it all fell flat. We went bowling and he didn't use that or anything else as an opportunity to get close to me.

One side note is that dude got super sweaty. He was embarrassed about it and was afraid he that he smelled. I put him at ease and said I didn't smell anything and not to worry. Dude also wasn't too great about holding open doors, or any of that polite date stuff. It'snot that I'm prissy, but it felt like he wasn't aware that I was with him.

His kiss goodbye was simple peck on the lips as we got to his stop on the train and he hopped off to go home. He's out of town for a few days now so I'm not quite sure when/if I'll be hearing from him again. So since I was really excited about this dude, I wonder if I should kick it down a notch and not have any expectations? The physical stuff says a lot, right?



Hi there Confused,

Whoa there, Nellie! Let’s rein it in a little bit here and remember we're talking about one bushel of produce from the lakehouse gropemarket and one date. That’s it. You've got a whole lot of questions and a whole lot of intricate speculation about a situation that has barely begun. Take a deep breath. Dudes don't have the time, inclination, or skill to plant a series of hints and clues and signals. This hasn't had time to get complicated yet. So, let's just look at the facts.

1- You and dude hit it off and hooked up.
2- Dude called right away after the squeezing your tomatoes to ask you out. No play it cool waiting period junk.
3- Dude made the plans and dressed nicely.
4- Dude paid.
5- There was nothing physical like hand holding.
6- Dude bowled and hung out.
7- Dude got sweaty and felt self-conscious about it.
8- Dude was not good with door opening type stuff.
9- Dude’s goodnight kiss was a simple peck on the lips.

(Note: Him "not picking up on the hotness" of the other night is not a fact. The DW doesn't know what that means, actually, which means this dude doesn't either. Him not picking up on hints like you touching his arm and whatever doesn't count as a fact, either. Dudes don't get hints. Or, on the rare occasions they do, no dude has any idea what the appropriate reciprocation for an arm touch is, anyway.)

Honestly, when the DW looks at that list he thinks, "Sweet baby Jesus in a manger! This is what makes a woman worried?!"

Seriously, what's wrong here? Dating isn't any easier for dudes than it is for women. In fact, dudes, in traditional situations like this one, have to put themselves out there a lot more than you. This dude had to make the move to call you, plan the evening, dress accordingly, and, basically run the show. That's a lot of exposing yourself, as it were, and it sounds like this dude handled it well.

A dude also has to make the call about how physical to try to be. In the DW’s opinion, the smart thing in this situation would be to do what your dude did- be respectful and minimal about the physical stuff to show you that he is interested in more than just another prime time episode of Face Meets Boob. Dudes are told over and over (with some reason) that we are disgusting wild animals because all we want is sex, so it's a tremendously risky thing in a dude's mind to go across any physical line with a woman he really likes if he is not 100% sure it's okay.

And sure, so maybe he could have been better about door holding, but isn't that a minor issue? This is hardly the only dude in the world who doesn't open a door or pull your chair out for you. And actually, whether or not to observe these kinds of traditional manners might be another call the dude had to make. The DW, for instance, dated a woman who specifically didn't want the door held for her or her chair pulled out and made it a point to say so. That kind of stuff plays well in the south where the DW grew up, but you can seriously insult a lady in the Bay Area with an old school approach to treating her like a petite precious flower. Or maybe the DW is speculating too much about women. Look, dudes are horribly confused by stuff and it’s the last thing they think about when the date is over.

Anyway, this is all to say- again- take a deep breath. Dude is clearly into you. You're into him. You've been on one date that sounds like it was a pretty good time. Will it work out long term? Who knows? But you're certainly set up to go out on a second date and begin to find out, right?

Relax with this dude. You guys sounds fine,

the DW

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dudefile #26 - The Goatee (part two)

[DW Note: For the first part of the story see Dudefile #26 - The Goatee

Hi DW!

OMG I don't know how it happened, I wish I could remember exactly what I said because I'd love to recount the conversation.... it was brief and I remember thinking, this is pointless -- he definitely isn't going to budge, but maybe after some rumination on the topic he came to his senses because when he emerged from the shower this morning the goatee was gone!! It's crazy! He left a mustache (gross!) but I'm sure that's not gonna last.

Amazing!!!!! :)


Hi Smoothie,

Well done! Now that you understand a little bit about how a cute gal can talk a dude into just about anything, the DW begs you - use your power wisely.

Enjoy the goatee free lovin'!


the DW

Monday, July 21, 2008

Online Dating Tip #2 - The List of Demands

One of the DW’s favorite scenes from Caddyshack is when spoiled Spaulding Smails approaches the snack stand saying “I want a hamburger, no a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a…” I want, I want, I want. Judge Smails barks back, “You'll get nothing and like it!

A dude is likely to feel like Judge Smails when your profile reads like a list of demands. Too much “I want” and by the end it feels like you’re asking for a 6’-3” ripped rich poet freewheeling pragmatic dancer sensitive confident humble athletic leader listener techy woodsy fashionista take-charge chill-out angel-winged comedian reader traveler grounded racecardriver nobelprizewinning private peopleperson animalloving capitalistvolunteering takecareofyou respectyourindependence everyday joe. Or, at least, those are the dudes you’ll consider. And dudes, therefore, say to the screen, “You’ll get nothing and like it!” And they click forward to see if the next woman can handle a mere mortal.

Now, the DW is assuming that the List Of Demands strategy is a way to try to weed out all those second and third rate chump dudes who waste your time by wildly overrating themselves. The problem with that is that it’s only the chump dudes with a grossly inflated sense of self who will Not be deterred by the LOD. You ask for a dude who sh^ts gold bullion, it’s the chumps who step forward and say, “How big a pile, baby?” Any dude with a capacity for reasonable self-assessment is going to see the LOD and think one of the following:

1. Yipes! I’m not good enough!
2. Whoa! Clearly this chick thinks she’s the Queen of England. Good luck finding David Beckham on, your Highness!
3. Someone has been on a thousand dates as is a wee bit testy. Run away! Run away!

See, your average dude is pretty sensitive to anything he perceives as p%ssywhip-esque. So, it’s more off putting than you would suspect for a dude to feel bossed around or dictated to by someone he hasn’t even met yet. Beware terms like “You should be” or “I need” and, most of all, the nails on chalkboard, “I deserve”. Again, fairly or not, the fact is this kind of phrasing is going to come across as nagging or pestering or precious- and if your typed profile comes off like that, a dude is going to assume those traits will only be amplified in real life.

Remember, a dude doesn’t know about your 17 other sh#t-tastic dates that led you to the LOD style profile and, frankly, isn’t interested to know about them because they have penises and you and other penises is not the kind of thing to bring up, well, pretty much ever. The dude only knows what comes across as he reads. And he’s reading "I want a cheeseburger, I want a hot dog, I want french fries...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dudefile #27 - Hooking Up With The Dude At Work (part two)

[DW note: For the first part of the story see Dudefile #27
- Hooking Up With The Dude At Work]

Thanks DW!

No judgement was implied - anyway, in the end, I just ended up cutting him off. And now we're just friends. And it's fine. So thank you!

Hi mrswse,

You're more than welcome. Glad to hear everything worked out for the best. It's amazing how often these Dudefiles that seem like such big tangled messes are really only one well chosen step from simplicity, right?

Enjoy the friendship of the dude,

the DW

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dudefile #28 - Getting Away From Bob

Dear DW,

I’ve got a friend, who’s really not a friend. He’s a sad, pitiful guy from my past. We were friends in high school I’m in my thirties now, married with kids, good life, dog –the works—and this friend (let’s call him Bob) is still in high school. Not literally, but that’s where his life is. The problem is, he calls me pretty regularly, and when I try to give him the hint that I don’t really want to talk anymore, he throws a major pity banquet –talks about how he values our friendship and wants to stay in touch, and has no one else to talk with, all while wishing for the good old times (aka high school!).

I feel for Bob. I know Bob’s been through some hard times. But the truth is, the friendship is completely one way. When Bob calls, I can’t get him off the phone. He won’t even listen when I tell him I need to go. And he can literally talk without breathing for two hours straight.

Please, Dude Whisperer –how do you break the ties with needy old pals who won’t let go of the past?



Hi K,

Oh boy, has the DW ever been in this spot. Bobs can feel like the undead – no matter how hard you whack them with a shovel they keep shuffling over the hill through the cemetery. Slowly. Insistently. Ignoring your screams and protests. And, they usually smell a little funny.

Look, in most cases the DW is all for getting people to see the other side of things, to empathize, to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. But this is not most cases. This is one of those times when you are not doing yourself or anybody else any good by letting this dude hassle you with his perpetual Bob’s Mental High School Reunion thingy. If Bob was a date dude or a boyfriend dude? Please. The DW would tell you to lose his number and ritually burn the outfit you were wearing when you met. No different just because he’s a friend. Especially since he’s not really even a friend, just more of a felt obligation.

The only thing that has worked for the DW in these cases is simply to refuse to engage the Bob. The preferred DW method of simple and direct an honest communication? This does not work with Bob. Bob negotiates when there is no room to negotiate. Bob hears hope in words so harsh you can scarcely believe they came out of your mouth. Bob gets shot in the chest, flinches, and stumbles forward, biting someone on the neck and making them undead, too.

So don’t engage. Screen his calls and don’t call back. If he catches you between screens, cut him off mid sentence with whatever excuse comes to mind, even if it’s taking your parrot to the dentist. If he comes over unannounced, grab you keys and tell him you’re on you’re way out for an important appointment with the DW, drive around the block twice and come back. If you see him socially, simply refuse to talk to him. Walk away over and over if you have to. The DW did this with a Bob and it does eventually work. Eventually.

Does the DW feels for Bobs? He does. But we are not the people that can heal the Bobs’ ills. If anything, giving them less to be dependant upon may actually help jar them into some kind of action of their own.

Don't engage!

Best of luck getting away from Bob,
the DW

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Online Dating Tip #1 - No Dude Photos

[ It’s summer and, judging from the DW’s mail, time for many of you to get on your favorite dating site to find yourself an upstanding dude who likes his mom and loves how you look in that new tankini you just got on sale at Forever 21. As he may have mentioned, the DW met his wife online and, therefore, has more than just theoretical knowledge about what a dude sees as he slogs through profiles. It seemed like it might be handy to distill what he learned into a limited series of Online Dating Tips. The first is below. More to follow soon. Enjoy and use wisely. ]

Tip #1 – No Dude Photos

Say you’re Beyonce. Jay-Z divorces you just because he’s rich and bored. Naturally, you decide to find your next man online. Once you’re done typing about how you like sunsets and puppies, you figure you’re so young and pneumatic and used to being photographed it’s probably not possible to post a bad profile picture, right? Wrong. Even you, Beyonce, can make yourself unappealing if you post a photo like this…

Okay, so unappealing might not be the right word. You’re still pretty darned attractive. But when a dude browsing profiles sees this photo here’s what he thinks- You Are So Not Over Your Last Dude. He figures maybe you’re up for some zipperdropping, but he’s not going to take you seriously because he’d sooner kick himself in the nuts than take on a woman who still carries a torch for Jay-Z’s wiener.

Bear in mind, Beyonce, that it doesn’t matter if that dude’s arm is really an ex’s. Maybe it’s your brother’s. Or maybe it belongs to someone you don’t even know. But it looks like your ex’s. That’s what a browsing dude will assume. Same goes for the arm of your totally unthreatening gay friend. Your tour manager. The milkman. Whoever. And actually, even if it's somehow clear that the dude/dude arm/dude leg is platonic, leave it out, anyway. Dudes don't even want to compete with platonic dudes.

Doesn’t matter if you have 18 dudeless other photos, if you have one with a dude like this buried way at the back of your profile, it’s a problem. Dudes do not see your dress or the scenery or whatever it is you hope they’ll notice about the dude photo in the way you wish they would. That stuff is all white noise in the background because they are simply using your pictures to figure out how cute and attainable and desirable they think you are. That’s it. And you’re less of all those things in a picture with a dude.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dudefile #27 - Hooking Up With The Dude At Work

hey dw -

love the blog, appreciate your insight, and am both excited and sad to have a question for you. so. here's my dude story:

i recently started a new job where i work with a lot of cute dudes. there was one dude that i thought was particularly cute, and as i got to know him better, we started flirting in the manner of twelve year olds. you know - teasing each other, playfully fighting with each other, all that fun stuff.

it all came to a head about a month ago when we went out drinking with another coworker. the third coworker ended up leaving, and we ended up drinking together for about an hour, having intense staring contests and flirting in our normal manner. we had to split up, eventually - i had to meet a friend for dinner, he had to meet up with a friend for a drink, but agreed to meet up later. i met him and his friend at the bar, and when his friend got up to get another drink, he challenged me to a staring contest and kissed me. we ended up making out off and on for the rest of the night. he invited me back to his place, but i declined.

we ended up hanging out several more times with coworkers and would sneak off to make out, trying to keep it a secret. lots of drinking was involved. one especially drunk night, after making out in the field of a park, we started talking about our situation. i was pretty drunk and don't remember exactly what he said but the gist of it was that he liked me and he liked hanging out with me but i wasn't going to be meeting mom and dad anytime soon. i was fine with that at the time, and we've continued to occasionally hook up. we sleep at each other's places, ride the train to work together in the morning, and act like we normally do at work.

the problem is, i'm starting to like him a lot. enough to want a relationship. he seems to really like me, but he said he didn't want a relationship. i don't want to get hurt, and i'm starting to think that i should probably stop hooking up with him. the question is, how do i go about doing that? we work in close quarters and i don't want things to get awkward and i want to be friends. should i man up and tell him how i feel, or should i just lay low and hope he doesn't want to hook up again?

help, me, oh dudewhisperer!

-might regret shitting where she eats

Hi there mrswse,

Okay, so first of all, and this is not meant in a judgement-ish sort of way, you might want to take a look at how much of this whole thing happened while drunk. Every other sentence up there has the word ‘drinking’ or ‘drunk’ in it. Things tend to simplify and clarify if you remove some of the Cosmos or sidecars or PBR’s or whatever. Just sayin’.

Now, more to your question. Here’s the thing about a dude who you’ve hooked up with and see every day, but who flat out tells you he doesn’t want a relationship- he’s not exactly gonna be crushed if you put an end to the flingin’.

Here’s what he sees. 1) You’re cute. 2) You’ve hooked up with no commitment. 3) For whatever reason that is pointless for us to speculate about, he has said he doesn’t want a relationship with you. Those three are pretty much it. If you just look at that list, you can see that you are probably way more invested in the ins and outs, as it were, of some idea of “you two” than he is. Really, he’s gone out of his way to make sure there isn’t a “you two”, right? Hey, he may well like you, and you may well be more than an easy score for some cushion pushin’, but he’s had more than enough exposure to you to ask or accept more of you than sweet sweet panty treats. Past a certain point, he’s simply not interested and has made that exceedingly clear. If a dude was crazy about a girl The Last Thing On Earth he would do is keep her at arms length, never ask her out on a date, and leave her wondering if the dude liked her at all.

So, given the above, how do you stop hooking up with this dude? Um, just stop. You don’t owe Mr. No Relationship any explanation because, frankly, you’re not so intertwined as you think. All you’ve done is a little pinchylickyspanky. If you are out and he forces the issue by flirting in a way that says he is expecting another overnighter, then maybe you specifically tell him “I don’t think so.” But even then, the simple cessation of casual sex doesn’t need any more explanation than you feel like giving. He hasn’t exactly laid out a ten point explanation of his preferences, after all. If he doesn’t want a relationship for no reason you are allowed to not want to hook up for no reason. Make sense?

Look, if you want to take the long shot that this dude will be your boyfriend, the DW is always in favor of speaking the truth. In this case, though, it seems like you’d be exposing your heart with very little chance of getting anything back. Just cut the dude off and move on. He’ll be fine and so will you.

Best of luck with the next dude,

the DW

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dudefile #23 - The Dude on the Board (part two)

[DW Note: For the first part of the story, see Dudefile #23 - The Dude on the Board]

Hey again, DW,

I should have thanked you long ago for your sound advice. I knew,without a doubt, you were totally on the money. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I haven't needed it. It's almost as if the Dude-on-the-board reads your blog. And, if that's the case, I'm going to resign my post on the grounds of sheer mortification.

By way of an update, I missed a committee meeting a month or so ago, he flaked on another (causing me to think "ah, more no-follow-through, he's thatkind of dude") – but in the last week we've had both a full board meeting and another committee meeting at which we were both inattendance.

Nothing. I got nothing. He barely even looked in my direction, sat as far away from me as physically possible (Seattle to my Miami as itwere). No hello, no goodbye (even when I bade him one on the wayout), no "kiss my ass, you filthy temptress." Last week I was grateful and relieved – yay, I can be in the same room without risking groping. But as of yesterday, amongst a smaller group – the distinct cold shoulder was weirder than the over-the-top flirting ever was. Does it have to be all or nothing? Can't we just be, I don't know, friendly (not be friends – but act friendly), professional, simply courteous?

Assuming (no offense) he either doesn't read your site or isn't your best dude friend or whatever, do you think this is indicative of a guilty conscience spurring him to better judgment? A word of wisdom (or gossip) from a colleague getting him to knock it off? Were he and his wife just having a bad relational hair day earlier in the yearwhich has no passed? Did I lose my Flusterfluffy heat in the space of a month? Yes, I know, that technically none of this has anything to do with me – but I'm still left to manage a weirdass situation. I love your sanity and would welcome hearing any further input youmight have on this evolution in awkwardness.

All my best,

Still Flustered, Apparently less Fluffy

Hi again Flusterfluff,

Thanks for the update! The DW loves updates. Loves them.

First of all, glad to hear it worked out without any real awkwardness. That's the biggest thing, right?

Also, the DW guarantees you didn't lose any fluffiness. In fact, it's exactly that you are still fluffy that makes the dude need to be, as you say, all or nothing. If you were a warty stinky troll he would have no problem whatsoever acting normal and unthreatened and unthreatening around you and never would have. But when a dude is attracted to a woman? Well, he wants to be with her or not be with her. He does not want to be kinda sorta near her. If he has no shot at getting her pants off it can be more of a distracting pain in the ass to be around a hot woman than anything. A reminder of what you can't have, as it were. Dudes, for friendship, by and large, want dudes and dude things and dude conversation. Really, the DW couldn't be friends with his wife if she was married to someone else because it would drive him nuts to be around her awesomeness and not be able to do anything with it but go home and spank away. That's fun once or twice, but quickly becomes just frustrating and sad.

And who knows- it also sounds like Board Dude's wife might have picked up on something in his behavior and politely suggested he quit daydreaming about a woman from a million years ago.

Whatever the case, you didn't get butt ugly over night and there's no real way to know what's up without asking him which would be, of course, incredibly unproductive. Just focus on how everything worked out for the best and how no homes will get wrecked and how you're free to unleash the fluff on someone else.

the DW